Five Things to Tell You {September 10th, 2020}

Gen The Bookworm

{Fall Shifts & Our First Day of School, Soaking in the Daylight, Currently Reading & Listening, Kindle Book Deals & Pinterest Therapy} 

ONE: Fall Shifts…& Our First Day of School!

VermontWe have done a lot of swapping kids with our “quarantine crew” since the end of August which meant there was A LOT of boy energy around here…even the dogs were wild! Although the end of summer is bittersweet, everyone is definitely ready for a change of pace. 

Continue reading “Five Things to Tell You {September 10th, 2020}”

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving… Beating The Winter Blues (in November), ALL the Winter Gear, Barre Book Club & More

Currently Loving...

Checking-in:

dog on the couch

Good morning!! I am trying to become more efficient (and not overthink these posts) because you guys were so great when I asked for more feedback over on Instagram. I too love reading random daily life updates and so I am going to try and commit to sharing these once a week! I am very externally motivated so when I know someone is expecting something of me I am all in, ha.

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(image from Reddit)

The last couple of weeks have had some ups and downs. My life has so many wonderful things, and it also has some painful and sad parts. I do try to be real on here, but also keeping in mind that this is a very public space. I love the image above so much because it is so very true and it is something that I try very hard to keep in mind when interacting with the world around me.

I am a glass half full person. I think because I have such great supports and self-care practices in place, it helps me focus on the good parts BECAUSE I am able to process the tougher stuff when it comes up. This is a work in progress of course, but I think it is important to mention as these posts are definitely more of the “highlight reel” kind of recaps. Okay, moving on!

Sunday Routines:

bookstagram

I am a little off schedule today because Lucas was away for the night at his family’s deer camp. He isn’t a hunter but going to camp is one of his very favorite things to do this time of year. He ends up bringing the kids with him a lot because we try and coordinate it with when Kristy and I are teaching on the weekends so this was a nice adult only visit for him!

Normally Sunday mornings are my barre and grocery shopping time, sometimes mixed in with a visit to Target to peruse the bookshelves. Last weekend I got together with one of my reading buddies and we had a great Pure Empower workout with Lauren and then walked around Target and caught up. My friendships are so very important to me, and there are certain times when you just need them a lot more and this is definitely one of those times.

Snow Days!

vermont winter

By mid-month, the boys already had TWO snow days. I think they are much easier to take this time of year than in say, late March but I was still a bit surprised. The boys were super excited of course and it was a reminder for us that it was time to pull out (and FIND) all the winter gear.

Currently Wearing…ALL the Winter Gear

vermont life

We have built up quite the collection of Skida accessories over the year and especially love hitting up their Summer Sidewalk Sale in August to replenish anything that gets lost at school.

It doesn’t matter how much you label the crap out of your kid’s stuff, some of it WILL go missing and it hurts a bit less when at least you know you got a good deal on them! We have also had great luck with LL Bean gloves for the kids!

Darn Tough

For socks, we LOVE Darn Tough socks and they are guaranteed for life! I love the Women’s Stripe Micro Crew Cushion style that is the perfect height and feel snug enough without feeling like they are cutting off your circulation on your ankles! 

Bogs For Life

We are big Bogs fans around here. Bogs Boots are our go-to footwear for our whole family from late October until the end of April. I updated mine this year after having my pair for 5+ years and I went with the Women’s Whiteout Bogs that are super easy to slip on and off (A MUST for me with winter boots) are so warm and cozy and waterproof. I loved my Plimsoll Bogs but these have even better traction for better grip on ice and snow. I am ladies size 8.5 in most shoes and I size up to a 9 in Bogs. I find that having a bit of extra room is super helpful, especially when wearing heavier socks this time of year.

winter boots

While I could never be a fashion blogger (LOL) I can talk for days about winter outwear and basically anything from LL Bean or Talbotts…

You can find the Kids Rain and Winter Boot Bogs HERE.

You can find the Women’s Whiteout Bogs HERE.

You can find the Men’s Classic Bogs HERE.

Beating The Winter Blues in November

vermont life

When you have the right winter clothing, getting outside this time of year is the best! One of my favorite ways to get together with friends is to go for a walk. Kristy and do this on our lunch break at work because she has some great trails right behind her house.walking with friends

I have been trying to prioritize this lately as I have a bit more flexibility during the work week now that photography season is slowing down a bit and it is so good for our mental health…there really is nothing like some fresh air and sunshine.

This week Buzz and I met my friend Elisa for a walk at Shelburne Bay and went on a lunch hour walk with Kari up Mt. Philo. All of these walks take less than from start to finish so they are perfect to add in during our day when we don’t have a long block of time available. 

Currently Embracing…Weekend Walks

vermont kids

We are also embracing the slower-paced time of this year on the weekends. Being cooped up with kids is not for the faint of heart so getting everyone outside at least once a day is necessary no matter what the weather conditions are. While we love to walk in the woods around our house, it is hunting season now so we stick to parks and places that off-limits for that until it is over in December.

A Night Out With Friends

Owl Feet Studio

It is rare that I do something at night (besides our Better Together Book Club!) because I am not a night owl, and especially this time of year when it gets dark out at 4pm. But when Sonja at Owl Feet Studio announced she was having her first Ladie’s Night Out, I was going to be there!

When I told Lucas I was going to attend a Shibori night, he definitely chuckled. Shibori is a cloth dyeing method originating in Japan in the 18th century and utilizes the incredible properties of the indigo plant (This is Sonja’s great description, not mine!) It is a similar process to tie-dying but because you use indigo, it results in beautiful shades of deep blue.

As a photographer, I am definitely a creative person, but I also like things just so(hence why I spend my work life in Lightroom and Photoshop, ha)

So going with the flow isn’t the most comfortable thing for me. I like having a concrete plan and detailed instructions! It ended up being such a fun night and it was also great to get a little out of my comfort zone. I can’t wait for her next Art Night Out!

Currently Loving…Barre Book Club!

Pure Barre

I know I talk about barre all the time, but it is just such a positive part of my life (and one of my biggest forms of regular self-care). The Pure Barre community is definitely the number one reason why. I am a group exerciser for many reasons (motivation because of signing up ahead of time is one of them) but I also love how it brings me together regularly with such a wonderful group of (mostly) women.

I love arriving a bit early to have time to catch up and love that we now have an (unofficial) Barre Book Club! In addition to chatting about all sorts of random things, our local studio has become an awesome place to share recommendations and also to exchange books!

Pure Barre

And whenever I post a photo with my barre socks, I get asked what kind they are! A barre studio opened near my friend Sarah’s house recently and she asked me if I had recommendations for my favorite sticky socks and these are it!  If you haven’t been to a barre class before, most barre studios have you wear socks (no shoe) that help you grip the floor, which especially comes in handy during planks and pushups.

The Tavi Noir Chloe ones are my current favorite. We started having them in our studio last spring and the pair I bought them have held us amazingly well and are still super sticky and grippy! They are super comfortable and the criss-cross straps stay put and don’t dig in at all like I worried about when I first saw them.

 An Amazing Homegoods Find

Homegoods find

The other weekend, Flynn and I hit up Homegoods to browse the aisles, and we walked away with this Quilted Eddie Bauer Dog Pullover for Buzz! Pullovers are necessary when you have winter weather for 6 months of the year (they are pretty much all I wear…) and I couldn’t resist this one for him when it was under $15…and now we can match!!

quilted dog jacket

I mean, is there anything better than twinning with your dog? I don’t think so!

Currently Becoming…A Harry Potter Fan

harry potter illustrated book

I have to admit, I have never read the Harry Potter series…and I don’t know that I really want to…

A few years ago my friend Kari recommended the Illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to get our family going on the Harry Potter train. Well three years later, our 9-year-old decided to dive in…better late than never right?

He is loving this version so much that has taken to reading right after school which isn’t the norm around, that’s for sure. Both of our boys have really grown to love reading but it is normally something they do in the evening before bed.

They have a boxed set right now of books 1-3 that is a great deal and would make a great holiday gift!

Currently Reading and Listening to…

Jojo Moyes

After much apprehension, I started The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes this week! I often get a little wary of books that are SUPER HYPED UP but this one really is amazing. I have been alternating listening to it on Audible and reading Kristy’s hard copy Book of the Month copy and am just loving it.

Fireside Reading (and Napping!)

Kindle

While this time of the year can be tough with the lack of daylight, it is also such a wonderfully cozy time of year. There is nothing like cuddling up next to the fire and reading an engrossing novel or taking a nap on the couch. After Thanksgiving next week the full rush of the holiday season will be upon on us so I am trying to soak in the quiet moments like this.


I hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend! I have some great book reviews in the blog line up and another What’s On Your Nightstand? post coming your way soon!

Disclosure: Some of the links above are Amazon affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

 

Coffee Talk | Currently… | school’s out for summer, a weekend escape, ALL the sunscreen & more

Book Blog

Checking-in:

It surprises me every year how quickly the transition from the end of the school year to summer mode happens. Last Friday was the last day of the school year and here we are just a week later and it feels like forever ago!

end of school photo

Adjustment period:

It has definitely been an adjustment week as we figure out how to juggle this short but intense season of the year. Some things didn’t go that smoothly and I also think that every year we learn from the previous ones so there have been a few wins too.

We are finding out groove and I am so thankful to have something that requires us to be somewhere every morning (swim team) that both boys participate in. Just having that sense of structure even if it is only for a couple of hours is super helpful!

kid in the pool

I have a babysitter for part of my work week and Lucas has them come to his office one afternoon a week. It isn’t perfect but it feels good to have a semi-structured plan so that work and family life don’t get too intertwined. Other than that, there is a lot of waking up early to get a few hours of work in and knowing that school will eventually start again in just a couple of months.

An escape to camp…

Last weekend was also Father’s Day and all Lucas wanted was for us to go to his family’s camp up in the North East Kingdom. He takes the boys a few times a year on my work weekends but I hadn’t been there in a while!

North East Kingdom

It is a little rustic but it sure is beautiful! The mountain off in the distance is Jay Peak. I shared a post about this on Instagram last Sunday but I thought it would be fun to share some of these photos here too…

Creemees of course!

On our way home, we obviously had to stop at a creemee stand and what better place to do it than the dairyland of Northern Vermont! We stopped at TJs Creemees in Sheldon and they were AMAZING. Buzz even had his first dog sundae ever! Vanilla ice cream topped with peanut butter sauce and a dog biscuit. He was in heaven!!

Currently listening to…

During the school year, our car ride to school is short and sweet. After I drop the boys off I have a luxurious 20 minutes in the car to listen to whatever I like, which usually means I use the time to listen to a true crime podcast or my current audiobook.  This time of the year we have a 25ish minute drive to the pool each day and then back home again. This doesn’t seem that long but it is long enough for drama to ensue and noise levels to rise.

podcasts for kids

Podcasts for kids!

Last summer I realized the gift of podcasts that are geared towards kids! Every morning we start a podcast on our way into town and finish it on the way home. It is a game changer! The boys love it and I find them quite entertaining myself, especially this recent Smash Boom Best debate episode…Libraries versus Museums!

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Currently using…ALL the sunscreen & sun protection

I currently have no shame in my sun protection game but I wasn’t always that way…I was a teenager in the 90s so I obviously did all the things like going to a tanning bed and laying in the sun as much as possible…I was a lifeguard after all! 😉

06-totalbeauty-logo-the-90s-beauty-products-we-loved-the-most-ranked

I even tried “sun in” which if you also have dark brown hair, you know that is a BAD idea…ha!

“If you are a natural brunette, the very sight of this bottle could cause you a nervous breakdown. Reason: Our dreams of becoming California girls were quickly crushed when, after sunbathing on our terraces for 30 minutes, we discovered our heads looked like cantaloupes.”

-32 Beauty Products You Probably Used in the 90s

Those were the days though….We didn’t have millions of internet articles or youtube videos telling us what to do, so we just guessed (and read Seventeen magazine)…and we did learn from a lot of our mistakes…eventually…

Sun Protection

Skin cancer runs in my family and I am thankful I learned when I was relatively young the dangers of the sun. I think it was a little after college that I realized embracing my pale skin might not only be helpful but also much safer in the long run.

So I have embraced, UV protection shirts, hats & lots and lots of sunscreens.

I apply sunscreen every morning after I put on my lotion…I have tried other kinds but I always go back to the tried and true Elta MD face sunscreen. It is not greasy and it great for acne prone and sensitive skin.

Later in the day, I reapply sunblock by using the sun protection mineral power by Derma E. My friend Kari loves the Supergoop defense refresh setting mist and that has a similar effect.

sunblock for kids

For our family, we are big fans of a lotion sunscreen for good body coverage and a face stick for a no tears application for our 6-year-old…;) We have had great success with the Babo Botanicals sport stick.

The Supergoop pump is so convenient and lasts FOREVER and the Alba Botanica Kids Sunscreen smells amazing and is so easy to rub in…

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Currently loving…all the Pinterest Inspirational quotes!

Whenever I am feeling stressed, I find great comfort in self-help books and inspirational quotes.

self-help from the 90s

Do you remember Chicken Soup for the Soul books? I was way into those as a teenager and I think they are way got me into this whole self-help genre.

Sometimes all you need is a little reminder to just do the best you can and know you are not alone when you are having a harder day. I love searching for motivational quotes on Pinterest and sometimes post them on my @genthebookworm Instagram feed.  I do try to have some restraint because I would probably post them every day otherwise, ha!

Here are some of my recent favorites…

(images from Pinterest)


Alright, that is all I have for now. I  hope you have a wonderful rest of your Friday! <3

We Rise by Lifting Others | Inspiring Friends

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(image from brit.co)

This quote speaks to me so much. Without a doubt, the most important things in my life are in the people that are in it. This last year has been one of the hardest in my adult life and it has also reminded me so much of the absolutely amazing and inspiring friendships I am so lucky to have. True friendships support you and challenge you and push you to be your very best self.

Today I wanted to talk about some of my entrepreneur friends. I am not only grateful for these women but I am so inspired by them in their professional ventures…

Kristy at Kristy Dooley Photography:

My friend and co-worker Kristy not only rocks family and newborn sessions but in the last year she started regularly shooting high school senior portrait sessions and is amazing at it! Like I asked her if she could re-take mine just because she is so amazing at capturing the senior’s genuine smiles, style, and personalities. I think mine would not look quite the same though, LOL. But really, she is one of those people who comes up with an idea and totally goes for it and I have learned so much from her.

She runs a successful business partly because of her amazing business brain that helps her work smarter not harder. I am someone who tends to be very disorganized with paperwork and accounting and her systems have taught me so much.

There is nothing Kristy can’t figure out and we spend a lot of time learning how to do something tricky on our computers by watching YouTube videos. Kristy is always expanding her knowledge and skills by taking workshops and classes that allow her to learn about something new while also building upon her talent as an amazing photographer. She is also a wonderful example of someone who juggles a lot but always has “time” to take a walk in the sun or catch up over a cup of tea…a true “Juliet“. <3

Kari of Happy Go Lucky Travel:

My friend Kari who is a programmer by day and vegan baker extraordinaire by night has recently decided to start a new venture sharing about her love and expertise with travel planning. When Kari decides she is doing something she does it 100% and as someone who likes to do a lot of things but not always very well, I am so in awe of this!

Not only does she have a family and a full-time job doing things on a computer that look like a completely foreign language, but she also loves painting, drawing and teaching herself how to play the banjo while watching Avett Brothers videos.  She is one of the most self-motivated people I have ever met. Last year she made a commitment to walk up Mt. Philo every day on her lunch break and you better believe she has done it. In addition to doing all these things, she is an amazingly supportive friend who helps me talk through lots of things even if she totally hates talking on the phone a million times a day.

Elisa at Corduroy & Pine Interiors:

My friend Elisa juggles a young family of three and a local interior design business. Anytime I call Elisa she is like “hold on a sec, I just need to set down my paintbrush”. She has amazing style and I love that she is able to factor in aesthetically pleasing designs that are also family friendly.

Elisa is one of the kindest people I know and she is always up for an adventure even if it is just to the grocery store. She was my nightstand of the week guest poster last week if you would like to learn more about her and see her book recommendations and her freshly painted bedroom wall. 😉


Who is inspiring you this week? I would love to hear! <3